Fantasy, sci-fi, and all things genre are finally becoming mainstays in awards season. Previously, bar the odd one or two TV shows or movies, fantasy projects would largely get ignored by the Oscars and Emmys. With “Everything Everywhere All at Once” just won Best Picture at the Oscars that pattern cleary has been broken — so much so that this year’s Best Drama Series line-up at the Emmys could be dominated by the genre. Here’s a rundown of the six fantasy and sci-fi shows that we’re predicting to be the strongest contenders.
“The Last of Us”
Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey star as two survivors on a mission in a post-apocalyptic America overrun with zombies. Pascal’s Joel is tasked with escorting Ramsey’s Ellie to a facility where they hope to make a cure using her DNA as she is the only human to survive a zombie bite. This HBO show has earned rave reviews, merting a 96% Rotten Tomatoes score and an 84 Metacritic score. That critical success means it’s the best-placed genre show to pick up a Drama Series bid — we have it in fourth place with 8/1 odds behind “Succession,” “The White Lotus,” and “Better Call Saul.” With acting bids all but assured for Pascal and Ramsey, this one feels like the surest thing in this list.
“House of the Dragon”
Next up is “House of the Dragon,” which returns us to the world of Westeros in this prequel to “Game of Thrones.” “Dragon” follows Paddy Considine as ailing King Viserys, who tries to ensure his daughter, Rhaenyra (Milly Alcock/Emma D’Arcy), ascends to the throne. However, other family members have different ideas in this game-playing saga. The HBO show earned scores of 93% on Rotten Tomatoes and 69 on Metacritic and is packed with outstanding performances. It features some of the best below-the-line work in TV this year, which is what helped to earn “Thrones” eight Drama Series bids (and four wins). “Dragon” will be too hard to resist for Emmy voters and currently sits in sixth in our rankings just behind “The Crown.”
Disney+’s “The Mandalorian” is helping to revive the good name of “Star Wars” after fans fell out of love with the franchise following the lackluster sequel trilogy. Pascal plays the titular Mando who takes Grogu (AKA Baby Yoda) under his wing and protects him from the dangers of a galaxy far, far away as they both try to find their place within said galaxy. The show, which is building up to something bigger in its current third season, currently has a 90% Rotten Tomatoes score and a 71 on Metacritic. To date, it has won 14 Emmys and been nominated twice for Drama Series. We’re expecting a three-peat here — it’s eighth in our odds chart just behind “Yellowjackets.”
Moving out of our predicted eight nominees now. However, this Disney+ show still has a good chance at landing a bid here — the show took advantage of the darker nature of “Rogue One,” which fans loved, and cashed in on it big time here. Starring Diego Luna with a host of excellent supporting turns including Andy Serkis and Fiona Shaw, this series features some of the best “Star Wars” work since “Revenge of the Sith.” It chronicles the journey of Cassian Andor early days with the Rebel Alliance including a hesit, a prison uprising, and a revolt against the Empire on his home planet. The show fared very well with critics, earning 74 on Metacritic and 96% on Rotten Tomatoes. Currently, it sits just outside the predicted eighth in ninth place with 33/1 odds. It looks like it’ll be a straight shoot-up between the two “Star Wars” shows for the eighth spot.
“The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power”
From a galaxy far, far away to Middle Earth. This series is set thousands of years before Peter Jackson‘s “The Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit” trilogy and follows various factions of Middle Earthians as they discover and contend with the reemergence of an ancient evil. It received 83% on Rotten Tomatoes and 71 on Metacritic. There was universal admiration for the show’s excellent below-the-line work. At the moment, it’s within striking distance of making the cut.
This Amazon Prime Video show, which explores how superheroes would really act in our world (evil deviants), was nominated for Drama Series in 2021 and has six Emmy bids to its name. “The Boys” follows a group of vigilantes, led by Karl Urban‘s Billy and Jack Quaid‘s Hughie, who set out to take down the corrupt Vought International company and their legion of twisted superheroes, led by Anthony Starr‘s Homelander. This season of “The Boys” received 77 on Metacritic and 93% on Rotten Tomatoes.
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